Once Jah Reid found out last weekend he’d been released by the Baltimore Ravens, the team that drafted him in the third round in 2011, it didn’t take long to get over the surprise.
That’s because Reid, 27, signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs on Sunday and immediately felt like he was at home.
“Getting here and being able to know these guys has made it a lot better,” said Reid, who has a base salary of $750,000 in 2015.
Since he arrived in Kansas City, Reid has practiced primarily at right tackle, which is crucial because projected starter Eric Fisher — who was moved from the left side earlier this week — was listed on the team’s final injury report as questionable for Sunday’s season-opener at Houston because of a high-ankle sprain, even though he was a full participant in Friday’s practice.
Reid, who is listed at 6-foot-7 and 340 pounds, said he felt comfortable coming to Kansas City after speaking to coach Andy Reid, offensive line coach Andy Heck and general manager John Dorsey.
“I could tell this is a place I’d like to be,” he said.
It doesn’t hurt that Jah Reid had some previous exposure to a former Chiefs great. Before the 2011 NFL Draft, he spent a few weeks working out with future Pro Football Hall of Famer Will Shields.
“He’s a great guy, he taught me a lot of stuff,” Reid said. “I was only with him for a few weeks, but I could just tell how he approached the game, how he focused on his technique. I’ve carried that over to the last four years of my career, and I’m going to continue to do that.”
Reid expects to reach out again to Shields in the near future, too.
“I definitely will (talk) to him — he’s a great guy, and I had a great time when I was training with him,” Reid said. “But everybody’s been very supportive.”
With good reason. Dorsey said recently that Reid’s initial punch and ability to finish blocks was attractive to the Chiefs. So was his versatility — he’s played at left tackle, left guard, right guard and right tackle at different points in his NFL career.
“I studied him when he came out and Dorsey had, likewise,” Andy Reid said. “He’s a smart kid and moves around pretty good for a big guy. He’s been well-trained.”
But adjusting to a new team in a week isn’t easy, especially because Jah Reid may be counted on to start Sunday. The play calls and the words the linemen use to communicate with one another prior to each play are different.
“That comes with time,” Jah Reid said. “I’m trying to make it move along as fast as possible, you know. I want to get it down as fast as I can. If that means coming in to meet early, that’s what I’ve got to do so I can get it done and let these guys around me (know they) can rely on me.”
Starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif said Reid has made an early impression on his teammates.
“He’s calm, (and) he’s a great guy,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “He’s working really hard to try to catch on the playbook. I try to have his back as much as I can.”
Reid, who’s also Donald Stephenson’s backup at left tackle, said his teammates have made the learning curve easier.
“I attribute it to the guard next to me and the center, and them talking to me, guys helping me out,” Reid said. “I definitely don’t have it all down yet … (but) it’s great that I have guys I can lean on.”
And that’s why, if Reid is called on to make the eighth start of his 39-game career Sunday, he’s confident he can find a way to make it work.
“Oh yeah,” Reid said. “Definitely.”